Amelia’s Magazine | Album Review: Gazelle Twin – The Entire City

Gazelle Twin - Polaroid

Gazelle Twin‘s debut album opens with the threatening bass horns of new single The Entire City, stuff and straight away the mood is set for what is to come. Singer Elizabeth Walling‘s coos clatter in just before the kicking drums. but there are no lyrics and the atmosphere is heavy and pounding, viagra 40mg not for the fainthearted.

Gazelle Twin The Entire City

Concrete Mother starts more softly, seek meandering undulations back whispering sighs before vocals kick in. ‘She’ll teach me love…‘ Then comes upcoming single Men Like Gods, which features Elizabeth’s tremulous voice at the forefront. What at first makes sense becomes more and more vague: tantalisingly mysterious. The back beat emulates the disjointed foot steps of the Sardinian mummers in the video. I am Shell I am Bone twists the beats against angelic vocals ‘Made of concrete, made of gold. I am young and I am old…

Gazelle Twin by Sophia O'Connor
Men Like Gods, Gazelle Twin by Sophia O’Connor.

One of my very favourite tracks is Changelings – the first that brought Gazelle Twin to my attention at the end of last year…. and it’s an ideal introduction to this most unique of talents. Bell Tower starts as its name suggests, but the bells are muffled, as if heard from far away or behind layers of padding, under water. Again the angelic notes back the mournful questionings… it’s hard to understand the lyrics, but as with the whole album it’s the atmosphere that is important – the song building confidence and momentum through sound.

Gazelle Twin by Lea Rimoux
Gazelle Twin by Lea Rimoux.

Fear is driven out in When I Was Otherwise: confident vocals sit astride the infrequent bass squelches. Obelisk begins with beats battering back and forth as if on a ping pong table, but a melody ‘waking up from a deep sleep we don’t owe ourselves‘ soon takes over, curling around and engulfing the beat. Then we are straight into Far From Home, a small interlude that features cascading Madrigal-esque vocal harmonies, a nod to Elizabeth’s classical inspirations.

Gazelle Twin - The Entire City

Nest again starts low, deep, muted before the song begins. It’s perhaps the most ‘normal’ of the songs on The Entire City, a simple tune taking pride of place, and a chance for Elizabeth to show of crystal clear vocals… ‘When it’s too late… will we ever learn?

Gazelle Twin by Nicola Ellen
Gazelle Twin by Nicola Ellen. Read her mini review of the album here.

The quivering notes of Fight or Flight only last a minute, drifting off into the ether, and then we’re on to the final track, View of a Mountain. Here the synth reigns queen against the clattering background.

Gazelle Twin The entire city

Think of Gazelle Twin as a folky female Aphex Twin, a mysterious little sister of The Knife, choral madrigals for our uncertain 21st century, something utterly unique and very very exciting. The official album launch is on 1st September at The Islington Metal Works and I for one will be there.

gazelle_twin by gaarte
Gazelle Twin by Gaarte.

Elizabeth Walling eschews the controlled machinations of the music machine: with an image carefully crafted to mystify, to hide, to enhance the sound rather than her body as most female musicians do. This is music as performance, as art and as something all engulfing… but equally at home listened to on your desktop. Since I was sent the album The Entire City has never been far from my itunes playlist. I suggest you download it too: it came out on digital download on 11th July. And then see her live.

Gazelle Twin - The Entire City Gazelle Twin - The Entire City

Make sure you read my previous interview with Elizabeth Walling of Gazelle Twin to find out more. There is another very good review of The Entire City on Drowned in Sound.

Categories ,album, ,Aphex Twin, ,art, ,Bass, ,Bell Tower, ,brighton, ,Choral Madrigals, ,Concrete Mother, ,Drowned In Sound, ,Elizabeth Walling, ,Far From Home, ,Fight or Flight, ,folk, ,Gaarte, ,Gazelle Twin, ,Harmonies, ,I am Shell I am Bone, ,Launch, ,Lea Rimoux, ,Men Like Gods, ,Mummers, ,Nest, ,Nicola Ellen, ,Obelisk, ,review, ,Sardinia, ,Sophia O’Connor, ,Synth, ,The Entire City, ,The Islington Metal Works, ,The Knife, ,Twisted beats, ,View of a Mountain, ,When I Was Otherwise

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Red Lines: an interview with Danish musician Hannah Schneider

Hannah Schneider by Essi Kimpimaki.

Danish born Hannah Schneider comes from an illustrious musical heritage: her grandfather was famed violinist Alexander Schneider, a member of the celebrated Budapest String Quartet and her mother was a violinist with the Royal Danish Theatre. Coming from such a background it is unsurprising that Hannah is a ‘melody fanatic’ with an ear for a good tune and an innovative arrangement. Red Lines is her third album, a glorious miss mash of electronica and classical influences. Here she answers some revealing questions…

What are you up to today?
Right now I’m enjoying the last rays of sun outside on a café in Copenhagen, so right now I’m doing very well! I’m working a lot these days, getting ready for my album release, so a little break is very much appreciated.

How does Red Lines differ from your previous two albums?
My new album Red Lines is very “open” towards people compared to my last album. On Me vs. I (2012) I looked very much inwards, and worked with themes that were very personal. On my new album Red Lines I guess I’m looking out on the world and opening up a little more. This album is very much built by the different songs, more than an overall sound – I felt a great freedom in giving each song what it needed. Also I have gone from a “one-woman-army” who produced it all myself, to working with the two Danish producers Andreas “Maskinen” Sommer and Lasse Baunkilde, and of course that has changed the process a lot. I guess you can also actually hear a little more of a masculine sound mixed with my dreamy and feminine vocals. I like that mix. The songs have very different themes, and I have been inspired by everything around me – from a gripping Chinese contemporary art exhibit at the Hayward Gallery in London, to a lonesome walk in a storm in the Danish countryside. Since my last album, I had a baby girl, and I think that influences my writing a lot – not in the sense that the songs have all become lullabies or talks about diaper change, but more in the sense of the strength and empowerment it has made me feel to be a mother.

The album features quite a lot of synths and electronica, who are your influences in this area?
I’m quite the synthesiser geek – I love old synths, I often hunt small Casios down on flea markets, and spend a lot of time experimenting with synths and pedals. I also write most of my songs on keys/synths, and have production ideas just as fast as melody ideas. On this album we were inspired by the sound of the movie Drive – this 80′s cinematic, synths driven sound- but also very much by one of my great heroes Kate Bush.

There are a lot of classical musicians in your family, how do you think this has shaped your approach to music making?
I think very much in orchestral arrangements, I always have lots of strings, and my brother (cello) and sister (violin) always find their way into the productions. I think it is very much in my blood, thinking in classical melodic structures, and I still listen a lot to classical music.

Hannah Schneider by Carly Watts for Amelia's Magazine
Hannah Schneider by Carly Watts.

You have been described as a ‘melody fanatic’, is this where you start with your songwriting or if not, where do you start?
I love that description – makes me sound like a crazy-person – I think it refers to my great love for melodies that catches you- I try to work with that in my music. I have an extremely broad taste, and love very different kinds of artists, but the common denominator I think, is strong melodies. A tiny bit of melody hummed by someone can be so haunting, sad, interesting and lovely, and I’m fascinated by the structure of melody.

What’s the music scene like over in Denmark?
A lot of great artists right now, and a lot of strong female acts, setting the tone. I think that what we lack in size, we are starting to gain in originality – it seems there’s a “nordic sound” evolving these days..

Out of all the tracks on the album, which is your favourite?
I think the first track on the album, Butterfly Lovers, sums up the album very well- I wrote it with one of my favorite collaborators Kim Richey, in London last year. It was just a great process of writing – we had been to a Chinese Modern Art exhibit at Hayward Gallery on the Southbank, and there was this very scary and gripping lady who did a performance on this old Chinese myth about two lovers who cannot have each other, and the vibe of this story totally set us in motion.. I also really love the song Dreaming Kind – my tribute to the sensitive kinds of people (very much like myself) and the song Everything, that’s basically a happy song about realizing that the facts aren’t as grave as they seem..

If you could bring back one musician from the dead to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
I think I would have a whole festival of dead people!! But to name one, it would probably be Nick Drake – I think he’s absolutely gripping, and he died so young that he didn’t get to do a lot of records – I would love to pick his brain and see what we would come up with!

What’s the maddest thing a fan has ever done for you?
Travelled all the way to the US to see a show !

hannah_schneider-cover artwork
What are your forthcoming plans for the UK with this new album?
I just played a show in London, and I really enjoyed it – hopefully I’ll be back soon to play some shows – we’re working on a couple of opportunities right now. It is my first release in the UK, so in a sense I start all over- it will be fun to build up an audience from the ground- I love performing and working on my live set.

Red Lines by Hannah Schneider is out on the 27th of October on Lojinx in the UK.

Categories ,Alexander Schneider, ,Andreas “Maskinen” Sommer, ,Budapest String Quartet, ,Butterfly Lovers, ,Carly Watts, ,Chinese Modern Art, ,copenhagen, ,Danish, ,Dreaming Kind, ,Drive, ,Essi Kimpimaki, ,Everything, ,Hannah Schneider, ,Hayward Gallery, ,Kate Bush, ,Kim Richey, ,Lasse Baunkilde, ,Lojinx, ,Me vs. I, ,Motherhood, ,Nick Drake, ,Nordic, ,Red Lines, ,Robyn, ,Royal Danish Theatre, ,Synth

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Pascal Pinon and review of new album Twosomeness

Pascal Pinon by Bex Bourne
Pascal Pinon by Bex Bourne.

Following hot on the heels of Scandinavian sibling act First Aid Kit, comes the new album from Pascal Pinon, 18 year old Icelandic twins Ásthildur and Jófriður. Twosomeness is an altogether more ethereal affair, a delicate blend of haunting harmonies and uncluttered synth folk, the sparse melodies at times taking on an almost religious beauty. This is a gorgeous album that belies the relative youth of Pascal Pinon, it’s hard to believe that this is already their second album. Jófriður answered my questions.

Pascal Pinon - Twosomeness
You’ve been making music together since you were children: do you remember when you first started doing this and can you describe that moment?
We started making songs when we first discovered Garage Band on our mother’s ibook g4. Ásthildur had a midi keyboard that we somehow plugged in and formed the band Við og Tölvan (translation: We and the Computer). We were 11 years old at the time and made two albums and about 30 songs, some very experimental while others were merely joke songs. We wrote plays and dances to the songs on the two albums but the only person that was lucky enough to see it was our mom.

Pascal Pinon by Carolyn Raship of Caviglia's Curiosities
Pascal Pinon by Carolyn Raship of Caviglia’s Curiosities.

How do you create music together and what happens when you are apart and you have some musical inspiration?
I write most the songs very secretly in my bedroom, it works better that way. But when I’m ready with something I show it to Ásthildur and she gives me her feedback. We do the arrangements together and focus a lot on making nice backing vocals and power breaks and all that stuff necessary for a good pop song!

pascal_pinon_by_Lilja Birgisdóttir
What other musicians do you rate at the moment?
My favorite music at the moment is by Steve Reich, and I’ve also been listening to Terry Riley and Louis Andriessen a lot. My favorite pop music discovery is Sohn but there is not very much out there by them yet.

Pascal Pinon by Vanessa Lovegrove
Pascal Pinon by Vanessa Lovegrove.

You used to be a four piece: what has been the journey of your music making so far?
It was a couple of years ago when Ásthildur and I decided it was time to start a band. We asked our friends if they were interested and the ones that came to the first practice were Halla and Kristín. They had just gotten instruments but didn’t really know how to play them, neither did we for the matter. We wrote some songs and basically learned how to play as we went on. we played some shows and were really surprised when people asked us to play and wanted to buy our albums (which we didn’t have). So we kind of became a ‘real’ band by accident and things seemed to happen quite fast from there. It was a lot of stuff to deal with and obviously one person had to be in charge, but that didn’t seem to work out for everybody so the other two girls backed out. Ásthildur and I wanted to continue so we did and now we are really really glad that we didn’t give up at that point. Very soon after that drama we started working with Morr Music and it’s been an amazing experience ever since.

Pascal Pinon by_Lilja_Birgisdottir
Pascal Pinon. All photographs by Lilja Birgisdottir.

What inspires your lyrics?
Everyday happenings, emotions and teenage drama, people around me and lyrics and poetry by artist that have something to say.

Where does the name Pascal Pinon come from and what inspired you to take it on as the band name?
We had a really hard time figuring it out but landed on this guy’s picture, he had two heads and a funny name so we just went for it, Pascal Pinon!

pascal pinon by Rosco Brittin
Pascal Pinon by Rosco Brittin.

How did you come to work with producer Alex Somers?
Alex had seen our show in norway in 2011 and was interested in producing our new album, which we had already recorded in a very similar style as the first one. at first we were a bit scared, scared of losing our characteristics, scared of doing something that we hadn’t done before and perhaps scared of throwing away the old recordings. Nontheless we decided to meet up with alex and try recording something over one weekend and it was actually amazing. we worked so well together that we couldn’t imagine doing the album with anyone else. Alex exaggerated our characteristics and creativity instead of losing it, and the whole thing felt like it was meant to be.

Pascal Pinon - Pascal Pinon cover
Who creates the artwork for your releases? I love some of the illustrations – what kind of art direction do you give?
We like old cutouts, homemade stuff, sometimes children’s drawings and artwork that is simple but honest in every way. We got very lucky with an illustrator; Julia Guther created most of the morr music artwork, and she totally understood what we wanted and was willing to collaborate a little bit, like using drawings and cutouts that we sent to her.

Pascal Pinon by_Lilja_Birgisdottir
You create your music with the minimal of technology, why do you think the DIY culture so prevalent in Iceland?
I have no idea actually. For us it was somewhat the most obvious thing to do because we didn’t have any money or equipment, other than our mom’s computer. When we decided it was time to release an album we were encouraged by our father to record as much as possible on our own. He lent us his microphone and pre-amp and gave us instructions on how to use it. We like to make as much of the sounds and instruments on our own and right now we are creating a really cool synthesizer that we plan on taking into the live set as soon as possible.

YouTube Preview ImagePascal Pinon – I wrote a song

Where can we see you live in 2013, and what are you most excited about?
We have our album out this January, we are going on tour in February, graduating in may, applying for university somewhere in the meantime and hopefully starting a new and exciting study in September. All these things are exciting but also a bit stressing. It’s going to be an eventful year I’m sure.

Twosomeness by Pascal Pinon came out this week on Morr Music.

Categories ,Alex Somers, ,Ásthildur, ,Bex Bourne, ,Carolyn Raship, ,Caviglia’s Curiosities, ,DIY culture, ,Ethereal, ,First Aid Kit, ,folk, ,Folktronica, ,Garage Band, ,halla, ,iceland, ,Jófriður, ,Julia Guther, ,kristín, ,Lilja Birgisdottir, ,morr music, ,Pascal Pinon, ,Projekta, ,Rosco Brittin, ,Sohn, ,Steve Reich, ,Synth, ,Terry Riley, ,Twosomeness, ,Vanessa Lovegrove, ,við og tölvan, ,We and the Computer

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Single and Video Review: Zebra and Snake – Sweetest Treasure

Zebra and Snake
I am seriously loving the video for Zebra and Snake‘s new single Sweetest Treasure – made by Sing J. Lee, a young award winning director from the North West – and featuring a fearless tribe of children who do battle with scary-toothed monsters in the woods. Zebra and Snake are Matti and Tapio, who hail from Finland and are currently settled in Helsinki, where their combined loves of synths and classical music has informed their own creation: fuzzy 80s influenced electronica with great melodies, of which lead single Sweetest Treasure is a great example.

YouTube Preview Image
Sing J. Lee said of making the video: ‘I had a great time working on Sweetest Treasure for Zebra and Snake. It transported me back to my childhood where I ran around my back garden pretending I was on some epic adventure.’ The idea began with the idea of incorporating children and monsters: Matti and Tapio wanted to include Nordic influences in the short story format, where a small kid is trapped by monsters, and Sing J. Lee added references to the games he enjoyed as a child. To keep the mood light hearted the monsters were made from balloons, the blood from powdered paint. The video was shot in various locations in South Wales and Epping Forest. Take a peek, it’s insanely moreish. Zebra and Snake go on a mini tour later in February, to support the release of their new EP on 100%.

Categories ,100%, ,80s, ,children, ,electronica, ,ep, ,Epping Forest, ,FInnish, ,Helsinki, ,Matti, ,Monsters, ,Nordic, ,review, ,Sing J. Lee, ,single, ,South Wales, ,Sweetest Treasure, ,Synth, ,Tapio, ,video, ,Zebra and Snake

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Live review: Chromeo at the Roundhouse

Our Broken Garden-drummer
I have to say, buy if there hadn’t been a very special reason to go out I would have stayed in last night. Needling icicles of rain ain’t what I need heading into town at nearly 9pm on a Pashley with a flat tire. But head I did, because last night Our Broken Garden were playing their only date in the UK for the foreseeable future and this I did not want to miss. And boy was I glad I made the effort. It’s no secret to my regular readers that I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with Our Broken Garden. They are nothing short of fabulous, especially the glorious vocals of sometime Efterklang keyboardist Anna Bronsted.

Our Broken Garden-live at St.Giles
Our Broken Garden perform live at St.Giles-in-the-Fields. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

On arrival I was in a bit of a grump to discover there was some time to wait before Our Broken Garden came on stage, but all that was put to rest when I sat down to listen to their support band Still Corners.

Still Corners-St.Giles
Still Corners-perform at St.Giles
Still Corners.

Against a blood red swirl of light the singer contributed dreamy vocals on top of swirling 60s keys and the odd dash of country and western melody. The beautific tunes worked particularly well where they stepped the beat up, and I’m eager to hear more. In the meantime enjoy the video for Wish. Just delightful.

Thereafter followed some fabulous electric noodling, which I presume came courtesy of Ulrich Schnauss, a once-upon-a-time Amelia’s Magazine interviewee whose latest stuff I have not heard, but was perfectly suited to the hushed setting.

Against the up-lit cross at the back of St Giles a bit of stage set pfaffing took place before Our Broken Garden took to the stage – four cute Scandinavian guys and one absolutely stunning lady. And by stunning I don’t just mean looks, though I was very taken with her slinky metallic wide-legged pants suit. Anna has a voice to die for. Whilst the rest of the nation is wondering if any of the X Factor vocalists can even sing in tune, the real talent can be found in places like this. Quietly going about their exceptional way. We were treated to a selection of tracks from the new album Golden Sea as well as a few tracks from earlier album The Departure, as Anna skipped and bopped in front of a large fabric tree.

Our Broken Garden-St.Giles

And we all drifted off somewhere quite magical.

Really, more people should know about Our Broken Garden. They are surely my favourite discovery of the past few months, and every bit as good, if not better, in the live flesh. Oh, and did I mention that the drummer is really cute?…but I was so mesmerised by Anna that it took me better part of the gig to notice.

Why not check out my review of new album Golden Sea, out now on the fab label Bella Union and an interview with the director of the Garden Grow video whilst you’re at it too. Jessica Furseth met with Anna before the performance and she will be posting an interview soon.

All photography by Matt Cheetham

On Friday 12th November Chromeo, order Montreal’s finest electro export, about it took The Roundhouse by a sexy, synthesized storm.

Camden’s iconic venue, The Roundhouse, is humming with the buzz of energy and anticipation for Chromeo.  The band released their third album, ‘Business Casual’, in August of this year and tonight will play a sold out show, their biggest to date.  As we wait, the familiar Chromeo chant begins to resonate across the room, a now familiar underscore to all of the Chromeo shows.  They are half an hour late, but this doesn’t deter the audience and as soon as the guys make their way onto the stage, amid a chest-shuddering bass, the chanting only gets louder.  The duo immediately own the stage.  They open the set with the catchy and aptly titled ‘I’m Not Contagious’ from the new album, which showcases the smooth vocals of ladies’ favourite, Dave 1, and P-Thugg’s keyboard and synth wizardry.  The audience begin moving instantly, and The Roundhouse becomes a sea of swaying bodies and waving hands.   

The stage is lit by two pairs of shapely neon legs, synonymous with the sexed up electro funk that the band delivers.  Dave Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel, Dave and P-Thugg respectively, are credited with spear-heading the revival of 80’s disco and giving it a much needed makeover and modern spin.  The atmosphere intensifies when ‘Tenderoni’ kicks in, a true Chromeo classic and fan favourite.  The standing audience are jumping around, and the seated have left their seats, and all are singing along with suit-clad Dave before he even knows it.  The beauty of The Roundhouse is in its name, and the stage is projected right into the audience, making the bond between band and audience just that little more special. When ‘Tenderoni’ finishes, Dave takes a moment to thank the audience for the overwhelming reception and highlights what a great show it is so far.  You get the feeling that everyone in the room is thinking exactly the same thing.  

New song, ‘Don’t Turn the Lights On’ causes what appears to be mass hysteria in the audience, before leading into the ultra-cool and sleazy ‘Bonafide Lovin’ from their second album.  Dave confidently whips around the stage during his guitar solo, taking a quick stop to give P-Thugg a brotherly hug.  Keeping it in the musical family, a quick guest appearance from Dave’s brother, A Trak, adds an injection of lively pop remixes and is a welcome addition to the show.  This is outdone however, by the explosion of glitter paper that falls from the roof in the next song, a fun moment to celebrate the band’s reputation as the charming maestro’s of modern disco.  
The encore brings about ‘Needy Girl’, one of the band’s most successful songs, and one that is best saved till last to induce some serious jiving en masse.  There are more thanks and praise from the band, and they exit the stage to a thunderous cheer.  The real joy of a Chromeo show is watching how the band can get the audience dancing and this one was no exception. As I leave the venue, I’m not the only one with a need to keep moving, and slip off with many others to the after-party, to shake a neon leg.

Chromeo are back next April, at London’s Brixton Academy.

Categories ,A Trak, ,Brixton Academy, ,Business Casual, ,camden, ,Chromeo, ,Dave, ,disco, ,Don’t Turn The Lights On, ,live, ,london, ,Montreal, ,music, ,Needy Girl, ,P-Thugg, ,review, ,Roundhouse, ,Synth, ,Tenderoni

Similar Posts: